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United arrives in Ghana, new daily South Africa flight launches soon

May 17, 2021
3 min read
United arrives in Ghana, new daily South Africa flight launches soon
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United just added another popular African city to its long-haul route map!

On Friday, the carrier began year-round service between Washington, D.C. (IAD) and Accra, Ghana (ACC). United 996 departs IAD at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, returning at 11:45 p.m. as United 997 the following day.

It's the first of two routes the airline plans to launch this spring to fill a gap left by South African Airways, which has long struggled to turn a profit and was forced to begin scaling back its global operations even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

United vice president of international network planning and alliances Patrick Quayle was among the passengers on Friday's first flight to ACC, which was operated by a 787-8 Dreamliner with 28 Polaris business seats, 21 Premium Plus seats, 36 in Economy Plus and 158 seats in coach.

Polaris passengers received special ACC pajamas, as modeled by United's Patrick Quayle. (Photo courtesy of United)

The aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute after touching down just after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning in Ghana.

United's 787-9 received a water cannon salute upon arrival at ACC. (Photo courtesy of United)

On June 3, United is scheduled to begin daily service between Newark (EWR) and Johannesburg (JNB), its second nonstop flight to South Africa from the New York City area. United began seasonal service to Cape Town (CPT) in December 2019 — as of now, that flight is scheduled to return on Oct. 31, 2021.

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United's Accra and Johannesburg flights are both guaranteed to be operated by the carrier's updated 787 Dreamliners, offering extra-private Polaris business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, along with dedicated Premium Plus cabins.

United's Polaris business cabin on the 787-9. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While South African's exit is likely a disappointment to some, United acted quickly to help bridge a gap in service, offering a superior product, to boot.

United's business class represents a step up, even compared with South African's very best product, pictured here. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

There's more to come on the Africa front as well, with another IAD flight expected to begin later this year. United is scheduled to fly between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria (LOS) sometime in 2021, though the airline has yet to begin selling seats, or confirm a launch date.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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2 - 10X points
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Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023